As per a survey conducted in 2019, people purchasing sustainable products are at least once a month in Belgium. Around 60% of respondents stated that local products were the most popular and purchased them regularly. Only 20% were interested in ethical products at least monthly.
As per the survey conducted in Belgium, nearly half of the survey participants stated that sustainable consumption means buying products that are a good fit for the environment. Other aspects are such as good for society, good for health, and good for animal welfare.
As per Mckinsey reports, Belgium’s way to achieve a zero-carbon future is by investing in renewable energy, electrifying transport, and heating to improve energy efficiency.
The examples of sustainable products in Belgium are:-
- Local products are produced and consumed locally with the ability to reduce the impact of environmental hazards in transportation and support the local economy.
- Organic products are grown or made without the use of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics, or genetically modified organisms. Around 9% of Belgians purchase organic products at least monthly.
- Ethical products are made concerning human rights, labor standards, animal welfare, and social justice. It also carries labels or certifications to indicate the ethical origin or production process. 6% of Belgians purchase such products at least monthly.
- Sustainable Clothing is made from natural, organic, recycled, or upcycled materials with consideration of the environmental and social impact on the production, distribution, and consumption of clothing. Also, ethical and sustainable garments are offered by Belgian clothing brands.
- Green energy is generated from renewable sources such as wind, solar, hydro, biomass, or geothermal. The greenhouse gas emissions are reduced as well as less and less use of fossil fuels. 25% of the renewable energy target is achieved by 2030.
International sustainable products are mainly such as organic coffee, fair trade chocolate, recycled clothing, or green energy.
As per some experts, the factors influencing the market potential of international sustainable products in Belgium are:-
- Consumer demand with a growing interest and awareness among Belgian consumers towards the beneficial impacts of sustainable consumption. Consumer behavior and preference are influenced by factors such as price, availability, convenience, culture, and education.
- Product quality is also a major factor in meeting the standards and expectations and competing with local brands. The need for complying with the relevant regulations and certifications applies to the majority of the products. Such as organic products need the EU organic logo. Ethical products need labels or certifications indicating the ethical origin or production process.
- Market access for the distribution channels and networks to reach the Belgian consumers and consider the logistics and transportation cost and environmental impacts of such products.
- Market competition with local brands offering similar or alternative solutions needs to find a unique way to differentiate themselves from the concept of being similar or just an alternative.
Belgium people are open to international sustainable product owners and the demand for the local is high.
The examples of International sustainable products in Belgium are:-
- Fairtrade Belgium is a non-profit organization promoting fair trade and supports producers in developing countries. A label for fair price guarantees, decent working conditions, and environmental protection for the farmers and workers are offered.
- Oxfam Fair trade is a social enterprise selling fair trade products with more than 60 partner organizations in 36 countries with offers of products such as coffee, tea, chocolate, wine, and handicrafts.
- Ecover is a company producing ecological cleaning products made from plant-based and mineral ingredients. The factors use renewable energy and green roofs to refill the system reducing plastic waste.
- Patagonia is a company selling outdoor clothing and gear made from recycled, organic, or natural materials. Through various grant programs and activism campaigns, the company supports environmental and other social causes.
- Tesla, well the name says it all. The company has its factory in the Netherlands and several stores and service centers in Belgium.
Let’s analyze the purchasing behavior and preferences of Belgian people related to sustainable products.
- According to a survey, 25% of Belgians are influenced in their purchase decision by sustainability labels whereas 30% are not.
- The quality expectations of the Belgian market need to be met or exceed the present local products available in the market.
- Price challenges by the International sustainable products may be faced due to higher production costs, transportation costs, taxes, or tariffs.
- Availability of the international sustainable products also influences the decisions.
- Awareness about International sustainable products also challenges the decision-making capability among the Belgium people.
As per the latest trends and patterns, Belgium is a strong position holder in sustainable products in Europe but still, it lacks the best practices and experiences of other European countries in the market such as Germany, France, Italy, The Netherlands, and Spain.
They can also collaborate with other stakeholders, such as governments, businesses, civil society, and consumers to promote sustainable consumption and production.